Thursday, September 10, 2015

Book Review: Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams

Pages: 368
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: June 23, 2015
Source: Personal Copy
Other Books by Author: A Hundred Summers and
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "In the summer of 1966, Christina Hardcastle—“Tiny” to her illustrious family—stands on the brink of a breathtaking future. Of the three Schuyler sisters, she’s the one raised to marry a man destined for leadership, and with her elegance and impeccable style, she presents a perfect camera-ready image in the dawning age of television politics. Together she and her husband, Frank, make the ultimate power couple: intelligent, rich, and impossibly attractive. It seems nothing can stop Frank from rising to national office, and he’s got his sights set on a senate seat in November. But as the season gets underway at the family estate on Cape Cod, three unwelcome visitors appear in Tiny’s perfect life: her volatile sister Pepper, an envelope containing incriminating photograph, and the intimidating figure of Frank’s cousin Vietnam-war hero Caspian, who knows more about Tiny’s rich inner life than anyone else. As she struggles to maintain the glossy fa├žade on which the Hardcastle family’s ambitions are built, Tiny begins to suspect that Frank is hiding a reckless entanglement of his own…one that may unravel both her own ordered life and her husband’s promising career."

Christina, otherwise known as Tiny, has grown up in a high society family and her mother always pushed her to do more, be more; after all, she is destined for great things.  Well, it appears that is so as she married into the very prestigious Hardcastle family. Her husband, Frank, is running for Congress and the year is 1966.  Everything is going as planned, until she receives a note with a photograph that is essentially blackmail. This turns Tiny's world upside down.  Frank isn't even home at the time the photograph arrives. He is on TV at his cousin's Medal of Honor ceremony.  His cousin is Caspian Harrison who fought bravely in Vietnam and whom Tiny actually knows from a chance meeting with him before her wedding to Frank.  Slowly Tiny's world starts to crumble and she starts questioning if she made the right decision many years ago.  Also, family secrets start floating to the surface and some are life-altering.  Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams is a glimpse into a high society family that will do anything to keep their secrets buried and this book examines how far families will go to do just that.
Tiny is the type of character that I immediately felt for, but I secretly wished she would gain more courage.  Slowly she does as Tiny Little Thing unfolds, but at the beginning of the book, she is the type of person that wants to appear to be perfect....always saying the right thing, always acting appropriately, never showing too much emotion, always looking like the perfect wife to Frank, etc.  Slowly Tiny's facade unravels with the arrival of the photograph as well as Caspian.  The story is told in a series of present day (1966) episodes as well as flashbacks to before the wedding when she originally met Caspian.  I really enjoyed how Williams told the story in this fashion; the secrets unfolded slowly.
The Hardcastles reminded me so much of the Kennedys in Tiny Little Thing.  The money, the power, the politics, the secrets, the good looking Congressman who charms all the women, etc. I also really liked that this novel examined prestigious families and what they put their family members through in order for them to fit the mold and when they don't, the lengths that they go to cover up any imperfections.  Even Tiny's family has some secrets, especially with the arrival of Pepper, Tiny's unconventional sister.  I must say I love Pepper a lot. She's the opposite of Tiny and I found myself gravitating more and more to her.
Although this isn't my favorite of Williams' novels, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and I can't wait to read Along the Infinite Sea, which comes out in November and will focus on Pepper, one of my favorite characters!  If you love historical fiction, Beatriz Williams' novels shouldn't be missed.


8 comments:

  1. Tiny seems like a character I'd feel sorry for. Her life would be pretty stressful especially if she didn't live up to her family's expectations. This sounds interesting and it looks like I better read it before I pick up Along The Infinite Sea which I have for review.

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    1. Yes! The stress was definitely present in this novel. I think you should definitely check it out before you read Along The Infinite Sea, because there ware some things that happen to Pepper in this novel that are big! Thanks for visiting, Christina!

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  2. I've always looked forward to coming to this blog for adult fiction recommendations. But I especially liked your historical fiction reccs. I'm so glad this one worked out for you, as I've been eyeing on Goodreads for a while now. Definitely picking up a copy.

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    1. Thanks so much, Joy. I appreciate it. I hope you enjoy this novel. I also loved A Hundred Summers and The Secret Life of Violet Grant. Thanks for visiting!

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  3. While I'm a little disappointed to hear that this wasn't one of your favorites, I am excited about this book and I'm glad you enjoyed it, Christina! I'm going to have to make time for this one and thanks for the heads up about the new one in November!!

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    1. Yes, it was still entertaining, but my favorite would have to be A Hundred Summers and The Secret Life of Violet Grant. I am excited for the one that is due out in November. Thanks for visiting, Tara!

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  4. I have seen this around and it looks interesting. I'll put it on my 'maybe' list.

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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    1. If you like historical fiction, definitely check out Williams' novels. Thanks for visiting, Kate!

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